A/N: And here it is then, the last chapter of Episode 1! I've already have the first chapter of Episode 2 ready and will be posting it shortly! I hope you all enjoy this chapter and the next story.
A/N (1/18/14) - Episode 2 is Revolution of Deception: A Royal Betrothal. Just click on my name to go check it out.
~Inside the castle~
Ariela walked between Caspian and Mikael as they made their way through that was to be her new home. Her hand was still tucked on the crook of Caspian's elbow, but he made no move to have her remove it, so she let it stay as they continued. Like her, Mikael gazed in wonder around the place. It was big, that was for sure, but there are also seemed to hold a touch of sadness as well.
Mikael shot his sister a look that she replied with a gentle shrug. She knew no more about the castle or life here in then he did. Though, she didn't like the idea of being in such misery, Caspian seemed to be happy and content from what she saw.
"I have always longed for that," the Prince said suddenly.
Ariela looked up at him. "Longed for what, your Highness?"
"Please," he said with a gentle smile, "call me Caspian. If we are to be wed, I think we should drop formal titles. The same goes for you Mikael. Family should not have to be so formal. But to answer your question, Ariela, I have longed for siblings. Ones that I can share things with, like the look your brother and you just shared. One that says a million of things to you both, yet nothing to the observer."
"How will Lord Miraz feel about us not calling you Prince and other formal names?" Mikael asked with a slight smirk. "I get the feeling that family or not, he is a stickler for certain things."
"It is not his decision what I wish to do with those that are to become my family," Caspian replied as he gently reached his left hand to brush against Ariela's on his elbow. "Would that be fine with you?"
"Yes, very much," Ariela said with a nod and a quick smile on her lips. "I think I would grow rather tired of calling you 'your Highness' fairly quickly. And as you have said, we are to be family." She smiled at her brother before she looked back to Caspian. "You long for siblings and you shall have them. Mikael is only one of my siblings, I have a younger brother and two younger sisters back home."
"I did not realize General Glozelle had been blessed with five children," Caspian said in surprise. "That is wonderful to hear."
"You say that now, but wait until they come for a visit," Mikael said with a chuckle. "When Philip meets you, he will want you to show him how to fight and anything else he can think a Prince might know. Phyllis will act older then she is, so that you will see her as grown up and have an instant crush on you. As for our youngest sister, Bethany, she will ask you endless questions about anything she finds here at the castle. She would insist on sitting near you at meals and promptly declare you are her best friend."
"They are not all that bad," Ariela said with a faint smile. "They are just..."
"Young?" Caspian said with smile of his own. "I should very much like to meet them as well as your mother. Will they be able to come for the wedding?"
"I do hope mother will," Ariela said. "I must speak with father on the matter, though, he is careful about letting us travel these distances from our home."
Caspian nodded as they came to a door. "Here you are," he said with a smile to Ariela. "These are to be your rooms. The servants, no doubt, already have a bath awaiting you. If you will permit me, I shall come back to escort you to supper."
"Of course, thank you," she said softly, though a bit of color touched her cheeks.
The young Prince watched her for a moment with wonder in his eyes before he moved to open the door for her. "If you need anything at all, you only need to ask. I will return within an hour."
Ariela gave a nod of her head before she looked to Mikael. "I will see you at supper, brother." Then with a smile to both men, she walked into her new rooms where three maids waited for her. The door closed behind her and she took a shaky breath. "Hello, my name is Ariela."
"Yes, ma'am," said one of the girls as she stepped forward to bow. "My name is Lera and this is Mary and Rose. We are to be your ladies-in-waiting, if it pleases you. Lord Miraz wanted to welcome you to the castle and his family by preparing you with your own set of servants. Prince Caspian handpicked us himself just for you."
Surprise shown on her face as she walked forward. Her own servants, why she never thought to have that before. She had no need really. Granted her family had servants, but her father himself was a servant, even as a General. She was brought up to help, not just allow others to do for herself.
"It would be wrong to dismiss this offer," she said slowly. "However, I am afraid I have no idea what need I would have of three maids."
"We are to be a bit more than that, my lady," the one named Rose spoke up. "As your ladies-in-waiting, we are bound to you, to protect you at all cost. You are to marry the Prince now and become the Princess. Your life has more value now than it ever did. People know this and will try to seek it for their own personal gain."
As if I was not already aware of that, Ariela thought to herself. To the maids, she smiled and nodded. "Of course, but it will take me some time to get used to you. I do hope you will be patient with me."
The three girls exchanged looks before they looked back at her. "Of course we will. You do not seem like the other Ladies in the castle, if I might be so bold as to say," Lera said.
"You are very humble for a Lady," Mary added with a nod.
"Perhaps that has something to do with the fact I was not raised at the castle or in court," Ariela said as she looked around her new room. "My father did not want his children spoiled."
"A fine job he did," Rose replied with a smile. "Now, there is only an hour until supper. Come, we have a nice hot bath prepared for you, Lady Ariela."
"If I asked you to call me Ariela, would that be to bold?" she asked as she followed them into the bathroom.
"That would not be proper," Mary said. "Though, if it makes you more comfortable, perhaps we can compromise. We call you by your name in your rooms here, in private, but before anyone, we call you Lady Ariela."
"That would be splendid," Ariela said with a smile. "Thank you."
~In the hall~
Caspian closed the door after Ariela walked in and turned to Mikael. "Come, your room is right down here."
"Thank you," Mikael said as he watched the door a minute longer before he began to walk with Caspian again.
"Do not fear for her," Caspian said. "I mentioned to my uncle that as my betrothed, Ariela needed protection. He agreed to give her three ladies-in-waiting to protect her. I selected the maids myself. They are trained in self-defense and will protect her at all costs."
"I am not sure I find that a relief or not," Mikael said with a shake of his head. "That my sister has someone willing to die for her or that she needs someone willing to die for her."
Caspian gave a nod of his head. "I completely agree, but it is better to be on the safe side. This betrothal was quick and though we haven't made the formal announcement, there are those that do know. Some might not be so glad with this decision."
"And you, are you happy with this decision?" Mikael asked as he looked at the Prince.
Caspian glanced at him before he looked ahead. "How old are you, Mikael?"
"I turned eighteen this past spring."
"I will be sixteen in a month," Caspian said. "You are already eighteen and have no wife or betrothed, correct?"
"Yes, I am not ready for the responsibilities of being a husband."
"Two years younger than you, I find myself on the brink of that very responsibility that you are not ready for," Caspian stated. "As a Prince, I have duty to my people to secure the throne and the bloodline of my father. I would prefer to wait for marriage until I am older and know more about being a proper husband. That is not within my power though. Yet when I met your sister any doubts that might have lingered in my head over this decision were blown away."
Mikael's lips quirked slightly. "Is that so? You have already become taken with Ariela after one meeting?"
A blush touched Caspian's face. "Certainly that should not surprise you. Ariela is an enchanting young Lady."
"One who is very beautiful," Mikael said as he watched the young Prince. "Now do not deny it. I saw the way you looked at her when she came before your eyes."
"I do not deny anything. I just freely admitted she was enchanting. And she has a calming nature about her."
"Yes, she is not one for drama. One reason why she never made any close friends with girls around our home. They were a bit to materialistic for Ariela's taste."
"Then we have something in common, your sister and I," he said.
"Neither of you care for false people?" Mikael asked as he glanced over.
A laugh came from Caspian. "That is one way to put it, yes. Though, I was going to say that I neither have many friends. Ah, here is your room."
As they stopped outside the door, Mikael turned and bowed to the Prince. "Then let me be so bold as to offer my friendship to you, your Highness," he said as he straightened. "You are to be my brother-in-law, friendship should already be established then."
"You offer it to me freely?" Caspian asked, his head tilted to the side a bit.
Mikael glanced down one side of the hall before doing the same to the other. He took one step towards the Prince and stopped. His head turned to meet the other man's gaze. "Let us not pretend here, we both know what this is about," he said in a hushed tone. "My sister is being put in a dangerous place, the only way I may even attempt to protect her is by you. I do not doubt we have the same goals in mind, so we should cut through any bullshit that others might try to give us."
"What do you..." Caspian started.
Mikael cut him off. "I know you must protect yourself and you will protect Ariela, especially once she is your wife. But you must know, she can only do what is within her power. She is a woman and they are not thought of as being very strong now a days. Let me take up where she lacks, Caspian. You need someone in your corner to help protect you both. My father cannot without death to us all. We both know this."
"I have just met you," Caspian said carefully. "Trust is not something given in a day."
"I do not expect it to be. But know this, you have my friendship and I will protect you with all I have, it is the only way I can protect my sister now."
Caspian nodded his head as he stepped away. "You are a good brother. I look forward to making you my brother as well."
Mikael gave a grin to Caspian. "We are bound now, common good and all."
"Yes, we are," the Prince said as he walked away. His thoughts turned about in his head at this turn of events. He needed to speak with his professor at once. Yet, he knew he needed to get to the banquet as soon as possible.